You already know the basics of resume writing: list your education and employment history, don’t make it too long, and keep the font large enough for the hiring manager to read without straining their eyes. But how can you make sure your resume gets noticed among the dozens — or even hundreds — of other resumes that come across a hiring manager’s desk?
Here are 4 ways to prepare a resume that will get you the interview:
1. Tailor your resume to the position
This is a fundamental point that too many people forget. After all, most people aren’t applying to just one position. You might be applying to dozens of positions, some even in different industries. But remember that the hiring manager doesn’t know or care if you’re busy applying to several positions. They only care about whether or not your resume indicates that you can do this one particular job they’re recruiting for. Your resume should specifically address the qualifications listed on the job posting.
It might even be helpful for you to keep multiple drafts of your resume based on the types of positions you’re applying for to avoid confusion and ensure you don’t accidentally send the wrong resume to the wrong place.
2. Make it personal
Hiring managers are interested in more than just skills and background. When they read a resume, they’re considering whether the person who wrote it is someone they will want to work with. While your resume isn’t a creative document, you can make it personal to the hiring manager in several ways.
First, research the company and the person who will be managing your position. LinkedIn, GlassDoor and the company’s recruiter are all places to learn more about the position and the person in charge of it. Use the language of the company’s job posting when finalizing your resume, and don’t be afraid to insert some of your personality by listing achievements you have earned and activities you have participated in that are not work-related.
3. Get creative (cautiously)
Some positions will reward a creative resume, which also help you stand out from the crowd. Templates are available online (a Google search can get you a variety of options) to help you get creative while maintaining professionalism. But because getting too creative can have the opposite effect on a hiring manager, use this step with extreme caution. Do your research into the company and the hiring manager before taking a more creative approach. Find out what the standards are in the industry you’re applying for, along with where the lines are between eye-catching and annoying.
4. Get a second (and third) opinion
Your resume is very personal, which means you’re inherently biased about what is and isn’t important. Have at least two other people objectively read your resume before you send it out to companies. Ask them to be candid about whether your resume accurately matches the job description, and be prepared to make changes based on their feedback.
Writing a resume is relatively easy. Crafting one that will land you an interview at the company of your choice is another matter. If you’re ready for a career change but aren’t quite sure how to start, contact us today!